The head of an expert group working on an integral curricular reform, Boris Jokic, asked Education Minister Predrag Sustar on Wednesday to relieve the group of duties because they are disgruntled with the parliamentary science committee's decision to expand the working group and conduct a reshuffle within the group.

"We don't have the impression that there is support and trust in us as a group. We were always for dialogue, we wanted and were ready to expand the group. But we can't and won't ever agree to political influence, either from the left, the right or the centre," Jokic told a news conference.

He said professionals must always come before politics and people before documents. "Therefore we ask Minister Sustar to relieve the leader and members of the expert working group and ask him to accept the request. We hope this society will continue to the (curricular reform) process and we are willing to help."

On Monday, Jokic said the working group was willing to step down unless Sustar rejected by today (25 May) the conclusions of the parliamentary science committee, including one that it is necessary to expand the group with a dozen experts in various fields.

Upon his meeting with Sustar in mid-February, Jokic spoke in detail about the year-long work on the reform and presented its results, on which he said more than 1,000 people had worked.

On that occasion, Jokic also underlined the need for clear and unanimous political support for the curricular reform. If that support fails, the entire process will slow down and it will not be possible to implement the proposed measures at the proposed pace, he said, adding that education in Croatia had been neglected for too long and that the time had come to change that.

He said he was glad to hear that a recent survey showed that 76.66% of respondents supported the reform entirely or in part, 13.62% said they neither supported it nor were against it, while 9.72% said they entirely or mostly did not support it.

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